NCATL Around the State Magazine
November / December 1997
VISION 2000 CAPITAL CAMPAIGN SETS NCATL ON TRACK FOR NEXT CENTURY
Copyright © 1997 by North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers
Early in 1993, Allen Bailey and Howard Twiggs embarked on a journey to bring the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers into a permanent home. On August 15, 1994, the Academy's Education Foundation, Inc, purchased the former NC Bar Association building at 1312 Annapolis Drive in Raleigh.
The purchase was made possible by the generosity of the 64 firms and individual Academy members whose gifts to the 1994 Capital Campaign, led by Bailey and Twiggs, totaled almost $330,000. The 1994 Capital Campaign thrived as its many contributors criss-crossed the state with telephone calls and meetings. According to Richard S. Hunter, 1993-1994 President, "The Academy's foundation was built by a few who worked diligently to get it started."
During this first phase, in the deserted atrium of the "new" building, Charles Becton, Howard Twiggs, and Paul Michaels met with Academy staff and the project's architect and foreman to determine costs and a renovation schedule. Over the ensuing months, they learned more than they wanted about demolition, dry walls, plumbing, and hvacs.
In December of 1994, the staff moved from the old Morgan Street offices into the only completed suite of NCATL's new Headquarters. The kitchen served as a reception area for seven months; at times, one bathroom accommodated both sexes; the copy room served as an office for five staff members; the atrium looked like a bomb crater. As walls were erected and carpet installed, Bailey and Twiggs continued their fundraising. Then president Charles L. Becton made an appeal to the general membership, "The vision has been pursued with the dedication of Academy members for more than 30 years. It is time to give it the stability offered by a permanent location."
By late 1995, renovations were complete and the building was at full occupancy. Within months, Academy members were scheduling depositions and meetings in the space and CLE seminars kept the parking lots full on Fridays. The Academy's permanent home dramatically altered the ability to serve the day- to-day needs of its members. A dream had become a reality. The members of the Academy had made it happen.
1996-97 President Wade E. Byrd made a commitment to the membership to conduct a second and final fundraising effort-the VISION 2000 Capital Campaign. With the Executive Committee and Board of Governors in full accord, Byrd launched the new phase.
This past summer Wade Byrd and Gordon Widenhouse completed this journey by raising over $1 million in pledges which will allow the Academy to retire the debt on the building by the year 2000, ten years ahead of schedule-a net savings of principal and interest of over $2 million to the Academy budget. With this savings, the Academy will reach beyond initial expectations to meet the ever-increasing need of its members through adequate resources for legislative, legal, and continuing legal education programs; through development of a comprehensive public education program; and through an affirmative agenda of law reform designed to protect individual rights in the civil and criminal justice system.
The Academy will salute the generosity and commitment of its members in January as we dedicate the Academy. A week of activities including, a wine tasting to benefit the Pro Bono Fund, a Judicial Forum, a Women's Caucus Luncheon, a Young Lawyers' Cookout, and a Dedication Ceremony, will begin on January 26, 1997. This week will be an opportunity to show our appreciation to the many contributors who made this "vision" a reality.
All Academy members are urged to mark this week on their calendars and to plan to attend the week-long festivities in Raleigh. Invitations will be mailed to the membership in December.
1997 WL 33378894 (NCATL)